As Weather Delays Biogas Plant’s Opening, Maine Communities Seek Agreement With Trash Facility

Feb 1, 2018

A coalition of Maine communities spent most of last year trying to break free from contractual agreements with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington. But now those same 100 communities want to sign an interim agreement with the trash-to-energy plant.

Cold weather, heavy snow and high winds over the past several weeks have pushed back the planned April 1 opening date for the new Fiberight biogas solid waste facility in Hampden. That has forced members of the Municipal Review Committee to look for other places to send their trash.

The committee represents more than 100 communities whose contracts with PERC will expire next month. Committee Executive Director Greg Lounder says his board has opted to send some waste to a landfill in Norridgewock, but also to enter an agreement with PERC until the new Fiberight plant goes online sometime this summer.

“We’re working closely with PERC and Waste Managament in order to be sure that we have reliable disposal service for an interim period of time, until our new facility is ready to run 100 percent,” he says.

The new Fiberight plant goes online sometime this summer, and in the meantime, Lounder says fees paid to PERC after March 31 will rise from the current $81.50 per ton to $90.